My great grandfather worked for the Canadian Pacific Airline Company when my grandma was growing up. Owning a vacation home in Hawaii and working for the airline they would fly to and from Hawaii semi-regularly. Vancouver to Hawaii is a 6 hr flight in this day and age, think about how long it was over 50 years ago! My grandma would get dressed in her finest attire, have her hair done up and be on her best behaviour. Cigarette smoke would continuously be recirculated through the air as smoking was allowed in flight up until 1990!
I think it’s safe to say things have changed since the first commercial flight took off from Montreal back in 1913. One of the best aspects to develop over this time is our cellphones and apps that go along with them. The resources that are available to us at the tap of our finger or the simple call of “Hey Siri…”
I sat down with my fiancé to come up with what we feel is a list of the best, most helpful and resourceful apps out there for travel.
Top 7 Free Travel Apps
I’m a die hard Apple fan and wish the map app they provide was good enough for travel but unfortunately Apple maps just doesn’t have all the functions of Google Maps. With Google Maps you are able to download maps of entire cities when you are connected to internet or data, that way when your roaming the streets of Florence, Porto or Rotterdam you can pull up your downloaded Google Maps and see exactly where you are in comparison to where you want to go, it gives you live feed as your walking the streets to stay updated and you can drop pins for locations you want to save like your hotel/AirBnB, a cute coffee shop you found etc.
If the airline you booked your flights on has an app-download it! On most airline apps out there you can check into your flight, get live updates on delays, provides announcements, you can upgrade, pay for your luggage fees etc. You can also usually get your boarding pass stored into the app so its less paper to carry/worry about and if you have an iPhone it will upload it straight to your wallet!
If you don’t have this app then I’m worried! Most people know what AirBnB is nowadays but if you don’t…check it out! Most of the time it will be able to provide you with accommodation cheaper than a hotel but nicer and more private than a hostel. You can rent out entire villa’s in Apulia, Italy or a cute studio apartment in the heart of Paris. If you’re on a super tight budget you can rent out a room in a house for a cheaper price. AirBnB changed the way we can travel now, providing experiences to us that we may never have been able to experience before!
I can’t even take credit for this one! My best friend moved to London a couple years ago and we went to visit her last year – that’s when she introduced us to CityMapper. OH-EM-GEE. Its that good. First let me say, they’re adding new citites to it all the time and expanding the app so they may not have the city your travelling to but they have MOST of the large and popular ones. Basically CityMapper is a transit app that connects you with any cities transit schedules. You can enter in where you are and where you’re wanting to go and it will give you the schedules, platforms, cost, time and any other type of updates you may need. I have had more accuracy through this app rather than asking the employees of the stations – no joke.
Basically Hopper is a prediction app. It watches current and future trends in hotels and flights so you’re able to book at the lowest rate available and who doesn’t want to save money when booking?! It provides you with a live colour coordinated calendar – Green days being the cheapest rate to book and red being the most expensive. This allows you to make the most cost effective decision!
Honestly, most people probably have this app because they are most likely using it within their own city…………….unfortunately us over here in British Columbia haven’t been blessed with Uber yet (I swear I’m not bitter at all). Either way, as someone who has only had the pleasure to use Uber while travelling; its changed the game. Making going to bars while travelling a little more appealing knowing I won’t have to worry trying to figure out transit in another city while 6 drinks deep.
I’ve had my bad experience with cell phone overage charges. I don’t want another bill more than 6 times what it’s supposed to be. WhatsApp is a great way to communicate through internet. iPhone users do have iMessage; but if the internet connection isn’t strong enough it will just switch to SMS (which I know you can change in settings but not everyone has an iPhone as well). WhatsApp is a phone and messaging app that uses only internet connection. It’s been around for at least 8 years now and is reliable, fast, and most people already have the app as well. This provides a great way to connect with other travellers and friends and family back home while you’re away.
That concludes the list of the top 7 travel apps to download before taking flight. Of course there are so many more out there and I urge you to not only search the app store every once and a while but search Pinterest as well.